Sunday, March 1, 2015

Movie Review: Roman Nowicki's Fantom Kiler (1998)

In anticipation of having my other blog shut down because of Blogger saying they will now not allow adult blogs, specifically pictures and/or videos with graphic nudity (ambiguous as usual for Google I know), I am taking my reviews from The Sex and Blood Show and posting them here, minus the pics. This has been previously published by me, just edited for content so I can't be accused of using graphic, or overly graphic language.

Fantom Kiler (1998) - Poland - Sexploitation Giallo Horror - Rated X
Directed by Roman Nowicki
Starring Marek Stuhr, Eliza Borecka, Katarzyna Zelnik, Magda Szymborska, Lilian Cybulka, Piotr Sapalowski, Natasha Nowicki, Stan Blinki, Henryk Solski, Tadeusz Plotcki

A mix of Giallo and music video style packed with misogynistic sleaze has plenty to offer the viewer who's not afraid to admit they like it.

The police in a Polish town discover the mutilated body of a beautiful naked woman left in a field. It has been a year since a similarly mutilated corpse was found. While the police are still stumped as to the identity of the killer, a mysterious man dressed in a black leather overcoat, a wide-brimmed hat and with his face covered in a white fabric, much like the invisible man, goes on a killing spree of beautiful women as he strips them naked and mutilates their bodies. The only clue the police have is the women all passed through a railway station where a janitor works who has fantasies about these women who shrug off his advances. His fantasies include misogynistic murder fantasies about them as well, but has he crossed a line where fantasy and reality meet?

Fantom Kiler is purely misogynistic in its treatment of women. Of course it makes no excuses about that as up front they describe the Fantom as a misogynistic murderer. Being that it is sub-titled, as its original language is Polish and Russian, and those sub-titles compete with watching a number of naked women on screen, the sub-titles have apparently lost out and are not well read. And where they might be read, those scenes not involving naked women are few and far between and easy enough to fast forward right through them.

The reason I bring that up is because of an interesting aspect of the murders that is purely misogynistic, as the killer is described, and that is he never has sexual intercourse with any of his victims but instead mutilates them, and most notably mutilates their naked bodies in a sexual manner often involving their genitals.

Being that I said that, let's take a step back and not get confused by thinking in any way this is a deep psychological study of a misogynist psychosis. Fantom Kiler is purely and simply sleaze presented as women being stalked, stripped and murdered, and a minimal amount of a story connecting the scenes. There is more sleaze in Fantom Kiler than in any other horror movie short of being pure porn.

At its very core Fantom Kiler is not original. Giallo has been around for decades. Giallo movies were the original stalk and slash movies well before slasher movies like Friday the 13th were even a thought; those later slasher movies having their origins in Italian Giallo cinema. Giallo movies too were largely misogynistic as the victims were mostly women and in various states of undress; unlike the later equal opportunity victims in slasher flicks.

Though Fantom Kiler has its roots in Giallo with its storyline of a masked killer who stalks women, using many of the elements of Giallo with the way the killer is dressed, straight out of a Giallo movie, and creepy atmosphere in places like the woods at night and a graveyard complete with fog, Fantom Kiler ups the ante by doing away with the talkative story and gets right to the good parts, that being gobs of nudity and slashing.

Of course Fantom Kiler has been criticized for its purely misogynistic content. Like this is the first time misogyny has reared its ugly head in a movie? Hell no! Movies have been filled with sexist and misogynistic themes since the beginning of cinema, and what Fantom Kiler does is it takes the ball and runs with it.

I'm not making excuses for the movie, it is what it is, but it does deliver on sleaze and to an extreme level. And don't tell me that's not what you're watching a sleazy movie for. As a matter of fact, I'd be willing to bet that a lot of critics of Fantom Kiler have watched it through more than once, of course only for the purpose of making sure they have their notes right so they can properly denounce the movie so they don't seem like the perverts they really are.

Go back into your closets where you're hiding your skeletons.

Fantom Kiler is not going to win any awards for quality. The non-sleaze scenes, what few there are, are easily fast-forwardable without really missing anything. The editing and obvious video work are jumpy. But, it is misogynistic trash cinema of the purest form. If you like sleaze, there is more than an abundance of it to be had; but if you're afraid to admit it, then you might want to watch it only in your closet while nobody is around and then you can denounce it to everyone later even though you know you liked it.

My Rating: 3 Fingers. This is sleaze overload, and thusly entertaining for the person who enjoys such material, but if misogyny is something you'd rather avoid then this should be at the top of your list to avoid.

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